Friday, June 6, 2008

5% fewer throwaways

In a tough game, throws are harder. The mark is better and on average your cutters aren’t getting as open. This means that you will probably have to look for your dump more often, but also that the dump coverage will also be tighter.

If we look dump 50% of the time and only complete 90% of those passes, 5% of our total passes are turnovers. And those turnovers in the backfield kill you in transition. We need close to 100% connections and knowing that we can dump easily will let us look off tougher throws upfield. When dumping at close range, a touch forehand can be hard to throw, let alone with a mark that is harassing you. From the dump’s perspective, a forehand can be difficult to read off of your hand.

For this situation, I really like a “flip pass”. I’m not sure what you call it but it’s basically a pizza-pie toss. It’s the throw you would toss to yourself if you’re jogging and want to catch one above your head. The disc is flat and parallel to the ground so it will hang in the air at a particular spot. It’s a very short pass so it’s a lot of wrist. Your arm should be mainly straight at the elbow on this throw, and the lift comes from an underhand ball toss motion. The spin comes from a backhand grip and snap.

As the dump comes around, you can step towards your target window using your body to seal off the mark, and fairly easily toss the disc into the smallest of windows. This pass doesn’t move very fast and is easy to read off of your hand. To practice your dump, try to throw a disc into a laundry basket (vertical, not on its side, maybe on a chair for elevation) from about 10 feet away from your pivot. This simulates being able to hang a disc in a very small window where your dump can go and get it. Personally, the flip pass is the easiest way for me to do this from a number of different body positions. Can you do better with a different pass? If so, please teach me.


shwu said...

I agree that improving the team's dump efficiency goes a long way. However, in a lot of cases, we'd like to get the dump off, but also put the dump in a position to continue the pass for a swing. Usually this means placing a leading pass that is at a slight angle away from the thrower such that the dump's defender is caught behind them. The flip pass probably wouldn't work in this situation, but how would you suggest making this kind of dump throw higher percentage (from either the thrower or the dump's perspective)? Do you have tips for how to throw a good backhand and forehand leading (but forgiving) dump pass?

Wes said...

Paul -- I'd add that everyone should learn to throw a flip pass with both hands, as that can often make it easier to seal off the mark with your body.

Of course, given that the point is to improve efficiency, you should make sure you can throw the pass confidently with one hand first.

Paul said...

I mainly use this throw in the middle of the field where a swing is less necessary. Usually you have one strong option (the dump), and to get open they will cut back and forth. At the same time, they may close distance with you to seal off their defender making it a tight throw.

I'm not sure I'm the best to talk about swing throws, but I like to focus on putting it to space in front of the swing. To do this, I try to put the disc out of reach of the defender as much as I try to put the disc into my teammate's hands.

I feel like once you get this throw down, you can release it over about 270 degrees angle from any given foot position, so I'm not sure if you need to learn it with both hands.

Lori said...

I find that this throw is easier when I rise up onto my toes as I release the disc. Maybe it's because I'm short.